Jet Wine Bar

Philly's Global Vineyard.
We specialize in wines from emerging and lesser-known regions, as well as uncommon varietals.

We also have a selection of craft beers and a full bar.

Come see why we think we are Philly’s friendliest bar!


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    210 posts tagged Jet Wine Bar

    Jill & Phill - Arcadia London Porter & Cottrell's Perry's Revenge Ale

    It’s a beer chat!  Listen as Jill & Phill talk about the Arcadia London Porter from Battle Creek, MI - the home of Kellogg’s - and Cottrell’s Perry’s Revenge Ale from Pawcatuck, CT.  Yes, there is laughter.

    Jill & Phill - Soave & Sangiovese

    Jill has a cold but still manages to confuse Hamlet & MacBeth AND sniff the Soave.  Lots of laughs with Phill, plus two great wines.

    Phill & Jill - Beers! from Rex 1516

    Jill and Phill chat about 2 great beers:  21st Amendment’s Back in Black & Weyerbacher’s Blithering Idiot.  Listen here, find out which one is Phill’s favorite beer of 2014, and then try them at Rex 1516.  

    Jill & Phill - South Italy Imports

    Jill & Phill have guests on the Brilliant Wine Sketch!  and they brought 2, fantastic, inexpensive wines:  Pecorino and Barbera d’Asti.  Find out how they tasted, and all about the South Italy Imports company.

    Phill & Jill - Brilliant Balvenie Sketch

    Jill & Phill chat with David Laird of Balvenie!  Jill coins a new term and we all learn about Scotch…

    Bonarda Reserva, Nieto Senetiner, Argentina

    Grape: 100% Bonarda.  What is Bonarda?  Well, it used to be the most widely-planted red varietal in Argentina, but now is second to Malbec.  It is late-maturing, and can produce young and fresh wines, or deeper, more concentrated wines - depending, in part, on vine age.  Its exact origins are controversial, to say the least.  I have yet to find an explanation of that contentiousness nearly as fun as the cartoon boards (pictured) from this post at Hawk Wakawaka Wine Reviews.

    Wine:  The Bonarda Reserva is made from 40 year old vines from Lujan du Cuyo in Mendoza.  Farming and wine-making both follow sustainable principles, minimizing intervention. The wine is a mouth-filler, with heavier notes of fig, tobacco, walnut, coffee, leather, chocolate, & dark cherry.  It drinks easily, but has staying power.  Great with- or without- food.  Try it with aged Gouda, cured meats, or our soft polenta.

    Fun Fact:  Not only does great wine come from Lujan de Cuyo, but famed tango singer, Oscar Serpa, also originates from the ciudad. 

    Listen: learn more here

    King Estate Pinot Gris 2011, Oregon

    Grape:  100%Pinot Gris from the Willamette Valley

    Wine:  Fermentation in stainless steel, and aged on the lees for 5 months. The wine has a ton of flavor: melons, green apple, grapefruit, tomatillo, pineapple.  It has plenty of acid, feels lush in the mouth, and finishes long.

    Fun Fact: King Estate has embraced sustainable practices across all aspects of production, and “maintain an organic eco-system”.  They practice Biodynamic farming, and also support a raptor program to aid natural pest control.

    Listen: Learn more here

    Map by John Tallis, 1851 Nuraghe

    Tasting Re-Cap:  Exotic Grapes of Italy

         We continued our Global Vineyard Passport Series of tastings last night with “Exotic Grapes of Italy”.  That is, we tasted wines made from unusual- uncommon- and generally unknown- grapes.  The word “exotic” is a little misleading as applied to these grapes, as the word implies non-native varietals.  While some of the grapes were introduced from elsewhere in years BC, they may now be considered “indigenous” varietals. 

         This particular tasting is part of a series of 3 classes in which we will focus on lesser-known varietals from different countries.  We started with Italy as that country has many hundreds of known grape varietals, and probably many more yet recognized.  This stems from its long history of trade and wine production that helped introduce a large number of varietals from all over Europe and Asia from Phoenician, Greek, Etruscan, Roman, Venetian, and Genoan colonies, colonists, and merchants.  A lot of these ancient imports remain in cultivation as many Italian winemakers have championed the preservation of venerable varietals, in some cases with the support of the Italian government.  A case in point is wine producer Mastroberardino  who was given government consent and encouragement to re-cultivate Pompeii with its ancient varietals.

         There are so many unusual grapes in Italy that we limited our tasting to Southern Italy and Sardegna.


    Name That Grape!

    Grape: Verdeca

         Verdeca has long been grown in Apulia, where it may have originated and in which it is one of the grapes that comprises several of its DOC – Denominazione di Origine Controllata, including Gravina DOC, Locorotondo DOC, Martina Franca DOC, Ostuni DOC and San Severo DOC.  Its origin is not without dispute, however;  it may have come from the Balkan peninsula – possibly Greece or Croatia.  Verdeca produces wines with crisp flavors, a bit of acidity, and floral aromatics.  

     Wine: Messapia Verdeca Bianco Salento IGT 2011 

         100% Verdeca, fermented and aged in stainless steel.  The wine is produced by Leone de Castris Winery, whose origins date to 1665 and which produced the first Italian rose to be bottled and sold in Italy, in 1943. 

         The wine drinks very clean and fresh as, apparently, typifies the varietal.  It has some citrusy notes with lemon and tangerine, and also a bit of brine.  It is lighter bodied, but has a fairly full mouth.  The wine seemed most similar to Verdicchio or Grillo, and Paul likened it to a Cotes du Rhone.  This is a light and easy drinker that was enjoyed by all tasters.  It was the favorite white of the evening of Taylor and Rex, who wanted to drink it with lobster. 


    Grape: Mantonico

         Mantonico (Bianco) is indigenous to Calabria, and comprises several of the region’s IGT and DOC.  Mantonico has a long history of cultivation in the region, and its first, known mention is believed to date to 1601 in a work of  the Italian writer Girolamo Marafioti.  DNA analysis suggests that Mantonico bianco might be a parent varietal of another Calabrian native, the red grape Gaglioppo.  It is said to have some characteristics of Garganega (predominantly found in Soave).  Given remaining questions about its taxonomic identification, it is unclear whether it is native to Calabria, or of other Mediterranean origin.  

    Wine: Librandi Efeso Mantonico Val di Neto IGT 2010 

         100% Mantonico fermented in stainless steel and barrique, aged one year in new French Barriques.  The Librandi estate was founded in 1952 in Calabria, where it is committed to reviving the region’s indigenous varietals.  They named this wine “Efeso” after the ancient city of Ephesus, located on the West coast of modern Turkey 

         This is a fuller-bodied wine with a ton of character.  It is nicely balanced with acid, stone-fruits, and mineral.  I was immediately taken by the “spiciness” of this wine, Bob and Rex thought “White Burgundy”, and Marisa and Evan found buttery vanilla notes.  we most agreed with Bill when he said, “There is nothing timid about it”.  This was the clear white favorite of Kim, Elaine (whose birthday it was!), Paul, Marissa, Mike, and Milton.


    Grape: Nuragas

         Nuragus (di Caligari) is the most widely-planted white grape on Sardegna.  It is known for its high-yield and strong acidity.  The grape has long been grown on the island but, as with many other grapes in this tasting, it is unclear whether it is native, or whether it was introduced by the Phoenicians, who had colonies on the island by the middle of the 1st millennium BC.  “Nuragus” takes its name from mortar-less stone-towers (Nuraghe) that can be found throughout Sardegna and which date to the 2nd-1st millennia BC.      

    Wine: S’elegas Nuragus di Cagliari DOC 2011 

         100% Nuragus, grown at 200 meters above sea level in Trexenta.  Grapes are gently pressed, fermentation in stainless steel.  This is produced by Argiolas, whose family has a keen interest in promoting Sardegnan biodioversity by protecting and preserving native varietals – including Nuragus, Caricagiola, Monica, and Bovaleddu, among others.

         This is quite an aromatic wine, with flowers, citrus, and also some earthy “funk” on the nose.  It is fuller-bodied, has ample acid, and feels intense and concentrated in the mouth.  This really has tons of character.  The aromatics and citrus resemble a Traminer from Alto Adige or, less so, a Greek Malagouzia.  Bob and I were absolutely smitten with this wine.  It was also the favorite of Rachel and Evan.  t was not enjoyed by all, however, as its strong character inspired rather divergent opinions.  In the middle were Kim, who “wouldn’t throw it away”, and Mike for whom it took two tries to realize that it was ok.


    Grape: Magliocco

                There is very little written about this grape (but see here).  It seems to be grown exclusively in Calabria and is often confused with Calabria’s other main, red grape – Gaglioppo.  Like the other grapes tasted, it may well be native to Calabria – but could have been imported by more merchants.  It produces wines with good tannin and acidity, spice, and dark fruits.

    Wine: Magno Megonio Val di Neto Rosso IGT 2010 

         100%  Magliocco, stainless fermentation, aged 16 months in French barriques.  This is produced by Librandi, who have been working with the grape (and other local varietals) for years.  The “Magno Megonio” name refers to a Roman centurion (commander of a typical 100-man unit, or century, in the Roman army) who owned a portion of Librandi’s current estate.  

                On opening, this wine has soft, round tannins with light acidity.  Taylor and Joe were instant fans of the nose – on which I smelled green pepper and graphite, Evan has caramel-y butter, and Marisa noticed pepper.  The wine evolved in the glass a bit, becoming spicier and more acidic even in the 10 minutes in the glass.  However, I tasted this wine again on the second day and it had really evolved.  There was much more acidity present, and the fruit really came forward.  It was a different wine with extended breathing, and one that was more complex, longer-finished, and better balanced.  At the time of the tasting, this was the overall favorite wine for Kim, and it was Rex’s favorite red.  Upon re-taste, I absolutely loved it.


    Grape: Nero di Troia/Uva di Troia

         Uva di Troia, or Nero di Troia, is yet another grape in this tasting with a very long history in southern Italy, but of unclear origin.  It may have been brought from Asia Minor, by the Greeks, or it may have originated in Troia (thus the name) – a commune in Puglia originally founded by Diomedes, of Trojan War fame.  Of course, Diomedes and Troia being Greek, both could be true (more here).  The grape yields dry wines with low acidity and higher alcohol.

    Wine: Botromagno Nero di Troia Murgia Rosso IGP 2010 

         100% Uva di Troia.  Hand-harvested grapes are fermented and aged (20 months) in Stainless Steel, 6 months in bottle before release. Botromagno is a merger between a private winery and a local cooperative, located in Gravina in Puglia.

         This wine is very tannic, but soft, with quite a lot of cherry flavor.  I likened it to a Sangiovese – mainly due to the tannin and cherry - but its softness is more in keeping with a Primitivo (which Botromagno also produces), as Bob suggested. This wine felt very “casual” to our tasters, and it seems that everyone wanted food with it; there were suggestions for dried meats, fatty/buttery items (always Evan’s suggestion!), and cheese steak.   Any of these would have been nice with the wine.  This was Joe’s and Mike’s favorite wine, and the preferred red of Taylor, Paul, and Milton.


     Be sure to join us for our next tasting on October 22nd, where we will learn about obscure grapes of France!

    Leyda Sauvignon Blanc vines: Ken Forrester Vineyards Bodegas Catena Zapata

    Tasting Re-Cap: Wines of the Southern Hemisphere

                On Tuesday, September 10th, Bob Barrett led us through a tasting of Wines of the Southern Hemisphere as part of Jet’s Global Vineyard Passport Tasting series.  Many people are familiar with the wine-producing countries that were highlighted - Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Chile, Argentina – as those countries have produced some popular wines over the last decade. However, partly as a result of that popularity, the Southern Hemisphere currently suffers from the perception of it as a producer of lower-quality, mass-market wines.  As New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, Argentine Malbec, and Australia’s mega brands obtained ever-larger shares of the wine market, that market was saturated with lower-quality, lower-priced bottlings.  As a result, wines of the southern hemisphere are often expected to be decent wines offered at bargain prices – but not to overwhelm with high-quality.  Moreover, the countries and wine regions found in the southern hemisphere are classified as “New World”, implying they do not have as long of a grape growing and winemaking tradition and heritage as many “Old World” European countries.  They remain in the shadow of many “classic” Old World wine regions, whose wines have long and storied pedigrees.  Yet many countries south of the equator also have significant winemaking history.  For example, wine production in South Africa dates back at least to the 17th century .  Its Constantia, or Vin de Constance dessert wine, was widely exported in the 18th and 19th centuries, when it was considered to be one of the best wines in the world. 

                Wine-production in many European countries is generally much older, often dating back to the Greek or Roman periods.  Yet, their “modern” (but still pre-phylloxera) emergence dates closer to the South African example, spurred in both cases by burgeoning avenues for maritime trade.  The Dutch – responsible for plantings around Cape Town in the 17 century – drained the marshlands of France’s Medoc around the same time. 

                 Other than particular histories, are there any systemic differences to be found between Northern- and Southern- hemisphere wines?  There are obvious differences in months of growing and harvesting, whereby countries below the equator commonly harvest between February and April, while above the equator harvest is typically between August and October.   That means that the new-vintage wines from the Southern Hemisphere are always released first.  But, wine growing regions are generally governed by a common set of limitations of climate and terrain.  Most vineyards are found between 30 – 50 degrees latitude – whether above or below the equator.  The Northern-most commercial winery is Lerkekåsa Vineyard found in Telemark, Norway, at a latitude of 59 degrees North.  However, the Lerkekasa winery has yet to release a vintage, and Telemark cannot yet be discussed as a “wine region”.   But the southernmost wine growing region of Central Otago in New Zealand - at latitude 45 degrees south - has already been very successful and is   well-known for its Pinot Noir.

                So, are there “natural” differences in quality between wines of the Southern- and Northern- Hemispheres?  This tasting wasn’t structured to test that – in that we have all Southern.  Instead, it was meant to highlight some of the best mid-priced wines from south of the equator, both in the areas’ “classic” grapes, as well as up-and-comers.


    Leyda Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Garuma Vineyard, Leyda Valley, Chile

    Sauvignon Blanc has long been associated with the Southern Hemisphere, but more closely with New Zealand than with Chile. Leyda’s vineyards are placed in rolling hills of Chile’s coastal mountain range, 8 miles from the Pacific Ocean.  Winters are moderate and rainy, while summers are dry.  Proximity to the ocean promotes weather patterns that keep summer temperatures cooler with low humidity.  These characteristics, coupled with the Garuma Vineyards location on a south-west facing slope (Southern Hemisphere! Away from the sun!), enable slower grape-ripening, aiding development of aroma, fruit flavors, and sugar/acid balance.  Grapes were harvested in March.

    This wine has nice depth of flavor and complexity.  It starts off with a characteristic green-pepper nose, then moves to a melon-y mouth with lemon and lime zest.  It has a pleasant mineral component, and a noticeable lack of “grassiness”.  This wine was well-liked, even by our tasters who do not typically like Sauvignon Blanc.



    Ken Forrester Reserve Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2012, Stellenbosch, South Africa

    Chenin Blanc is justly famous in the Loire Valley of France, but, its status in South Africa – where it is known as “Steen” – is equally exceptional.  The Ken Forrester vineyard situation is similar to Leyda’s (above); the grapes are grown on the southwest facing slopes of the Helderberg foothills in Stellenbosch,  cooled by winds from the ocean lying roughly 4 miles.  The chenin grapes come from 37 year-old vines that are organically farmed, unirrigated, and have controlled yields.  The grapes undergo natural fermentation, and the wine is aged on-the-lees.

                This is a fuller-bodied wine with concentrated flavors – consistent with the slow-ripening, older-vines, and lees-aging.  The full mouth has tropical fruits (a bit of pineapple?), some honey and nuts, and wild herbs and spices.  Evan tasted a bit of pine resin, but no one else did.  There is enough acid to balance all the fullness, and this wine just tastes incredibly good and rich, with a long finish.  Again, this was enjoyed by all. Oh, and we serve this by-the-glass at Jet, so come give it a try!


    Coopers Creek Pinot Noir 2008, Central Otago, New Zealand

    As mentioned above, Central Otago is the world’s southernmost winemaking region, and Pinot Noir is one of its stars.  The region is alpine, and the vineyards – at 200 - 400 meters above sea level – are the highest in New Zealand.  Central Otago has enjoyed much success over the last decade, with subsequent rapid growth;  the number of wineries increased between the mid-1990’s and mid-2000’s from 11 to over 80.  The majority of that growth is in Pinot Noir production, which constitutes over 80% of grapes grown in Central Otago.

    This Pinot Noir has a medium-body with relatively light acid – especially for a Pinot.  The fruits are tart but bright, and include pomegranate and cranberry.  This is an easy-drinking wine, with a very smooth finish.  Our tasters liked this wine, but many, including Goldie, found it to be a bit too neutral. 


    Catena Malbec 2011, Vista Flores, Mendoza, Argentina

    Catena is a 3rd generation, Argentine, family-run winery that was first planted in 1902. The Vista Flores wine-growing area is in Mendoza’s Uco Valley.  The vineyards are at the edge of Andes Mountains, between 3117 – 3281 feet in elevation. These vineyards do not lie near the ocean, but the Tunuyan River is found  just south. Malbec has become nearly-synonymous with Argentine reds – particularly in Mendoza.  This particular Malbec is from a specific region – Vista Flores – that is notable as a growing region (like an appellation), which distinguishes it from the bulk of Malbec bottlings.

                This wine immediately impresses with its deep, rich color.  It is a lively red in the mouth with gritty tannins (what Bob refers to as “fuzzy”, and Catherine called “interstitial”).  The tannins are well-balanced with an acid component on the dark, red fruits.  Evan noted a bit of mintiness to the wine.  This wine is quite elegant and expressive, and just nice to drink.  It was enjoyed by everyone.



    Langmeil Three Gardens Shiraz/Mataro/Grenache 2011, Barossa Valley, Australia

    Mataro is Australian for Mourvedre.  It certainly isn’t as prominent as Shiraz in Aussie reds, but it has a traditional use blended  with lesser-quality varietals to make Tawny Port-style wine. In Barossa, winemakers also have a history of using it in their G/S/M blends.  Its benefit to that blend comes from Mataro’s thick skin; it grows well in hot climates and its natural tannins help prevent oxidation.  The grapes come from three different areas of varying soils, with lower and flatter vineyards than the other wines tasted. In this case, delayed-ripening was a result of cooler-than-normal temperatures in the Barossa Valley.

    Like the Malbec, the Langmeil wine is deep, dark, and rich.  It has notes of tobacco, white pepper, and mint, or eucalyptus.  It has a bit of dustiness and some cocoa, too.  This was definitely the “biggest” wine of the night, but it also retained some elegance.  It was also enjoyed by everyone.


    This tasting really showed the diversity of Southern Hemisphere grapes and styles. We tasted whites and reds from across a broad expanse of the globe, which makes comparing the wines a little difficult.  Nonetheless, people had their favorites – and they were fairly evenly spread out across the different wines, although several people voted twice!  Overall, the Sauvignon Blanc was the favorite of 2 tasters, the Chenin also of 2 tasters, the Malbec of 4 tasters, and the Langmeil of 4 tasters.  The Pinot Noir did not register any votes for favorite.  It is a nice wine, just less memorable.


    Join us for our next tasting on October 1st!

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